Grapes ecommerce platform for the drinks trade
A wine merchant website with a strong connection to the friendly London store.
The Wine Reserve is a wine merchant based in Cobham in South London. The character and personality of the shop is what drives the brand, and keeps local customers coming back time and again.
In the store they create an informal and welcoming atmosphere, and stock a large and eclectic range of wines for customers to choose from. One of their main aims is to make the process of buying wine from them fun and easy, regardless of the customer’s understanding and experience in wine.
They use humour on the chalk boards outside the front of the shop to show customers that they don’t take themselves too seriously but do take the quality of their wines seriously.
The website design had to represent the Wine Reserve’s friendly and humorous personality to make sure visitors realise that there are real live friendly faces waiting to tell them about all the wine they know and love. It was an essential aim to make that connection to the actual shop, rather than a faceless online retailer.
The font of the website was inspired by a real chalkboard that they use in the shop for things like daily deals and pricing to ensure there is a strong visual link between the shop and the website. Scratched chalkboard backgrounds are used to carry this theme through the website. Emphasis is placed on the shop owners and staff, with an about section on the homepage as well as About Us page. Good staff profiles give a website visitor a feeling of connection to the store, and what to expect if they visit.
The website uses our Grapes platform with all its standard features designed to meet the needs of the drinks trade. This site specifically includes a bespoke mobile adaptive design, full Vintner integration and seamless payment integration with SagePay.
Improving the User Experience was an essential element of the project, vital for successful e-commerce sites. Features added to the site included: order histories, similar products, tasting note and my favorites. The order history is a particularly important feature in this sector due to the changing stock and availability of wine vintages. This feature enables users to view alternative wines currently available if previously ordered favourites are out of stock. Similar product image carousels are also important for new users and are filtered to match the producer and varietal.
My Tasting notes is a feature offered to a customer 48hrs after purchase. It gives customers the option of recording their tasting notes either for private or public record (moderated), and provides a good source of further customer interaction with the site, driving SEO.
Behind the scenes integration with existing Vintner EPOS systems is key to the performance of the system. New products are added to Vintner, then pushed to the website where the administrator then populates the product attributes with images and written content. Product data with price and stock updates are automatically updated hourly from Vintner. Discounts, promotions and corporate gifts are set up for application at the administrator level.
Continued relationships with customers are extremely valuable and are encouraged using automatic emails and newsletters. Mobile friendly and customisable HTML email reminders are designed to be sent to customers after 24 hours if items remain in their basket and after 3 months to view the latest offer. Both encourage direct sales and drive customer loyalty.
The newsletters contain features on products, tasting notes, locations or suppliers and promotional offers, and subscribers are managed by Mailchimp signup modules. Any customer, including new users can signup for the newsletter, making it a powerful marketing tool.
The site was optimised for search engines and included configurable meta descriptions on all public landing pages. It also used a dynamic XHTML site map submitting any changes to Google and Bing once a day. The robots.txt file also references the XML site map.
Full Integration with 3rd party services like Wine Searcher and Google merchants to boost visibility, brand awareness and increase web traffic.